Real and Barcelona locked at 2-2 in Supercup clash
Updated: 2011-08-16 08:07
Barcelona's David Villa (right) celebrates his goal as Real Madrid's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas (left), lies on the ground during their Spanish Supercup first-leg match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Sunday. Juan Medina / Reuters
MADRID - European and La Liga champion Barcelona held arch-rival Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu in the first leg of the Spanish Super cup on Sunday.
Away goals from David Villa and Lionel Messi left Barca the happier of the teams, after Real had created better chances, and its night was crowned with news that Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas had finally agreed to his move from Arsenal.
Real had taken the lead through Mesut Ozil after only 13 minutes in a vibrant atmosphere, and Xabi Alonso grabbed the equalizer early in the second half.
The second leg is at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
"We are behind with our preparations so it has been a huge achievement to get a result against a Real Madrid side who have played very well," Barca coach Pep Guardiola said.
Referring to Fabregas he said: "Cesc grew up in Barcelona. He became a huge player thanks to Mr (Arsene) Wenger and Arsenal, and now he is a better player than when he left. Now we will try and make him better."
Barca gave new signing Alexis Sanchez his debut in an unfamiliar lineup that also included 20-year-old midfielder Thiago Alcantara in place of Xavi.
In the absence of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, both suffering from injuries, Javier Mascherano and Eric Abidal teamed up in the center of Barca defense, where they were quickly found out.
Karim Benzema, who has scored eight for Real during the preseason, beat Abidal on the edge of the area and squared for the advancing Ozil to slot past Victor Valdes.
Penned back in its area, Barca struggled to mount a single shot until the 35th minute when Messi fed Villa wide on the left.
The Spanish striker cut inside Sergio Ramos and from the edge of the area curled a shot over Iker Casillas and into the top corner.
On the stroke of halftime Barca hit Real with another sucker punch.
Messi scampered away toward the area, and as bodies converged on him a lucky deflection saw him emerge unmarked into the area to slide the ball underneath Casillas.
Real lifted its game again after the break and when Alonso drilled a low shot in the corner, Barca was once again on the rack.
With the memories of last season's bad-tempered clashes in the league, and King's Cup and Champions League still fresh in mind tempers started to flare, adding extra spice to the atmosphere, but Real failed to capitalize on its chances.
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